Epidemic compounds Gorkha quake survivors' woes

GORKHA: Quake-stricken villages located in the northern part of Gorkha are facing the onslaught of a host of diseases.

The spread of dysentery, diarrhoea, fever and cough among the quake survivors in the villages has compounded their miseries.

A health post that collapsed during the massive earthquake is yet to be reconstructed while health camps run from tents with inadequate medicines and health workers remain a far cry from succor needed by the patients.

The quake survivors are not finding timely treatment while the health workers are unable to contain the epidemic due to overwhelming number of patients. Currently, only auxiliary nursing midwives are serving the patients.

The change in weather, lack of fresh drinking water at temporary camps and location of the settlement in an open area exposed to the cold are the reasons speculated to be behind the epidemic.

In Sama village alone, 15 days have gone by after 30 children and more than 50 bread winners fell ill. The health workers of the health post and the auxiliary nursing midwives associated to a local organisation are tending the sick.

The delay on part of the District Health Office to dispatch health workers and medicines to the villages is stoking a surge in the number of patients.

Sunita Gurung, a local from Uhiya village, said the diarrhoea which spread in her village two weeks ago is taking a toll on all of the villagers. "At least two to three members in each of the families have fallen ill," she added.

The locals have been demanding more health workers and medicines citing the new health related cases are continuing to emerge.

The villagers camped in temporary settlements at was 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Uhiya village have fallen ill after suffering from diarrhoea. Local teacher, Jitlal Gurung, said people living in more than 300 temporary camps have fallen ill. He said the children, old people and women are in no position to come down to the district headquarters for treatment.

Nani Babu Dani of the Epidemic Branch of the District Public Health Office, Gorkha said diarrhoea has spread in Sama Gaun, Uhiya and Hulchok of Keraunja among other areas.